Open-source 3-D platform for low-cost scientific instrument ecosystem
The combination of open-source software and hardware provides technically feasible methods to create low-cost, highly customized scientific research equipment. Open-source 3-D printers have proven useful for fabricating scientific tools. Here the capabilities of an open-source 3-D printer are expanded to become a highly flexible scientific platform. An automated low-cost 3-D motion control platform is presented that has the capacity to perform scientific applications, including (1) 3-D printing of scientific hardware; (2) laboratory auto-stirring, measuring, and probing; (3) automated fluid handling; and (4) shaking and mixing. The open-source 3-D platform not only facilities routine research while radically reducing the cost, but also inspires the creation of a diverse array of custom instruments that can be shared and replicated digitally throughout the world to drive down the cost of research and education further.
Journal of Laboratory Automation
Zhang, C., Wijnen, B., & Pearce, J. M. (2016). Open-source 3-D platform for low-cost scientific instrument ecosystem. Journal of Laboratory Automation, 21 (4). http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2211068215624406